Ford has revealed its Gen3 Mustang GT for Supercars at Mount Panorama, ahead of this weekend’s Bathurst 1000.
It’ll do some display laps this weekend and will spend 2022 in testing, before making its racing debut in the 2023 Repco Supercars Championship season.
That’ll pit Ford’s entrant against the new Camaro ZL1 from Chevrolet Racing, in a new, American twist on the classic Ford v GM Supercars rivalry.
Under the bonnet sits a production-based 5.4-litre ‘Coyote’ double overhead-cam V8.
Gen3 Supercars will have up to 447kW of power, down from 481kW in Gen2 cars in order to boost the longevity of the engines.
“As Supercars enters a new era – with new ownership and the incoming Gen3 technical regulations, Ford is demonstrating its continuing commitment to Australia,” said Ford Australia president and CEO Andrew Birkic.
It looks much more “normal” than the Gen2 Mustang, and that’s not simply for aesthetic reasons.
To make racing in Supercars more cost-effective, new Gen3 cars are required to have the same dimensions as the road cars they’re based on for all key body components, including the doors, roof, windows and bonnet.
These parts must therefore be interchangeable with their respective road car, in a return to the category’s heritage. The cars must also be 100mm lower, 100mm wider and 100kg lighter, with overall downforce reduced by 200kg.
The transaxle and rear suspension can carry over from Gen2 cars, but the cars must have a chassis that’s “hybrid ready”.
The reduction of aerodynamic aids also allows for closer racing, which should be entertaining.
“Both the Mustang and Camaro give a nod to the Supercar of the past, with as much attention given to the design and appearance of the cars as the new technologies,” said Supercars Australia CEO Sean Seamer.
“This is the first chapter of our new era that will be cost-effective for our major stakeholders and teams but retain the very core of our success – terrific and exciting Supercar racing, which is what our fans have been asking us for.”
While it remains to be seen how the new Gen3 cars perform on the track, there’s one area in which Ford has a distinct advantage.
It has a production car it can sell fans of its racing efforts, while the rival Chevrolet Camaro is no longer sold in Australia.
MORE: Everything Ford Mustang